Italy / Rome
The church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin is located in the Piazza Bocca della Verità.
The word Cosmedin might be of greek origin, and the church is also called Santa Maria in Scuola Greca, because mass is celebrated according to the Greek Orthodox tradition.
In Antiquity there was an open air altar dedicated to Hercules, and in the 3rd century a chapel ws build on top of the ruins. This chapel was incorporated into a 6th century church, which in turn was enlarged and restored by Hadrian I in the 8th century. Hadrian I gave the church to greek monks that had escaped iconoclasm in Constantinoble, and it has been a Greek Orthodox church since then. The church was later restored after the sacking of Rome by Robert Guiscard in 1082. The tower was added in the 12th century.
Under the portico there is the (in)famous Bocca della Verità.
Inside the church is divided in three naves by 18 ancient and medieval colunms of varying designs and sizes. Above the altar is a canopy by Deodato di Cosma the Young from 1294. The floor is from the 8th century, and further decorated by the Cosmas in the 13th century. In the sacristy there is a mosaic dating from the 8th century, originating from the first Saint Peters.
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